Tag Archives: smoking and dental implants

Can a Diabetic Get All-on-4 Dental Implants

After my husband died I really struggled. I stopped taking care of myself. I gained 100 pounds, developed diabetes, and even developed gum disease which led to losing several teeth. I didn’t care. Then, one day I was at a park and smiled at a little girl and she asked if I was homeless. I realized then, things had to change. I have a full life ahead of me. I started eating right. I joined a gym. I’ve almost completely lost all the weight I gained and I no longer have gum disease. I asked my dentist about what he recommended for my missing teeth and he suggested all-on-4 dental implants. I was super thrilled about the idea of having a full mouth of teeth again. But, I went home to do some research and learned that diabetics shouldn’t get them. I don’t want to pay all that money if it’s not going to work. What should I do? I really want teeth again.


Dear Carra,

illustration of a dental implant

First, let me add my condolences. Don’t be too hard on yourself regarding how you dealt with your grief in the beginning. It’s almost suffocating to lose a loved one and we all seem to lose ourselves at first too. You should be really thrilled with the incredible progress you’ve made since then. I think the healthy changes you’ve made are remarkable.

For the most part, dental implants have a 98% success rate when done by an experienced implant dentist. There are some factors which make patients more at risk for implant failure. The biggest of these are:

  • Gum Disease
  • Smoking
  • Uncontrolled Diabetes

You’ve already taken care of your gum disease, which is huge. A responsible dentist will NEVER give a patient who has gum disease dental implants. There’s no way for your body to retain them well, just like when you suffered from gum disease, they couldn’t retain your natural teeth. They will fail. Because you’ve already turned that around it’s not a worry for you.

You didn’t mention anything about smoking, which I hope means you’re not a smoker. Smoking lowers your blood flow in your gums which increases your risk of infection, a leading cause of dental implant failure. You also increase your risk of redeveloping gum disease.

Your diabetes is under control, so again, Yay! not a problem for you. I think you’re likely a good candidate for dental implants.

Are All-on-4 Dental Implants the Right Choice for You?

The only real reason to do the All-on-4 procedure rather than traditional implants is bone loss. Sometimes, with gum disease and tooth loss, you lose so much jawbone structure you don’t have enough to retain dental implants. All-on-4 is one way to get around that. However, there is a better, more reliable option.

If you don’t have enough bone to support traditional dental implants, I’d consider getting bone grafting done. It will build back up your bone structure. Then you’re free to get whatever procedure you want. I hope this helps you make your decision.

Best of luck and congratulations on all your hard work!
This blog is brought to you by AACD Accredited dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Now That My Implants Are Secure, Can I Smoke?

I had implants placed over eight months ago. My dentist insisted I quit smoking before he’d do them, which I did. The healing time is all over and I’ve been doing just fine. I know it’s been a while, but I am still craving cigarettes. Is okay to start smoking now that everything’s stable?

Jason B. – Idaho


You’ve done so well without smoking, I’d hate for you to go back now.  You might be thinking just one, but before you know it,  you’ll be back to a pack a day.

I know it seems like you’re in the clear now that the healing time is over, but patients who smoke are at a much higher risk of dental implant failure than other patients.

Smoking reduces the blood flow in your gums, which increases the chance for gum disease and infection. That will cause your implants to fail.

I know it’s hard, but you’ve made so much progress. Don’t give up now!

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Can my dentist really refuse to give me dental implants?

My dentist said if I don’t quit smoiking that he won’t give me dental implants. Can he really do that? Isn’t it my body and my decision?

Chuck S. – West Virginia


If you wanted to hire a contractor to add a room to your house and insisted he use termite infested wood, wouldn’t he refuse?  The wood would never hold up.  The same principle applies when  you’re a smoker with dental implants.

Even under ideal conditions, dental implants are a difficult procedure.  When everything is done right, there can still be dental implant failure.  A dentist would not want to start off at a disadvantage.

When you smoke, it affects the blood supply in your gums.  This in turn makes healing more difficult, which could lead to your implants not taking.

While it is your body, your dentist is responsible for your procedure and wants to make sure it has the best chance of success.

If you want this dentist, then you’ll need to quit smoking.  Otherwise, you can call around and find a dentist who is willing to do the procedure anyway.  Just make sure you research that dentist and are sure he or she is truly qualified for such a difficult, advanced procedure.

This blog is brought to you by Boston Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.